Quick RecapQuite a big chunk of this journey can be accessed simply by looking back in this blog, as I started in the Autumn (Fall) of 2014 fairly fresh into that scary journey. Over the three years, posts have gotten longer, but I remain proud of my shortest post of all, comprising just nine characters!
Later that year, however, the simmering Trinity continued to develop inside of me. I can remember two key aspects. One of the elders or our church was interested in seeing a copy of my manuscript (that I had already changed quite a bit since 2015), and the second was my developing friendship with Barney Aspray, a Cambridge PhD student who is passionate about a French philosopher, Paul Ricoeur (I first mentioned Barney on the blog in October 2015 - I'm surprised it was that early). In the end, I sent a copy of my much re-worked and honed and proofed chapter 1 of my manuscript to my elder, but I’m not sure if he ever read it. And with Barney we shared a good number of exchanges about hermeneutics, mainly via email and occasional Skype, which were to have a significant impact on my journey.
Personally, I have made it a point to spiritually practice trinitarian devotion as part of my own faith journey, and I tend to avoid words like “Lord” unless I add the clarification of “the Lord Jesus”, and I even avoid “God” mostly. I follow a trinitarian liturgical devotional, Common Prayer: A Liturgy For Ordinary Radicals, which was an amazing gift from my friend Dean (available here on line though for free).
At some point, wow, only as recently as May 2017, I first blogged about a Triune Hub in a post entitled Jewish Roots of the Trinity. This is the model that I’m still working on to this day, which I have named the Triune Hub (it’s kinda unlucky, I think, that the extra H needed for “Hypothesis” doesn’t leave you with some cool acronym – oh yeah, the “THH”). Central to this hypothesis was to extend the vocabulary introduced by leading biblical scholars Larry Hurtado, Tom Wright and John Dominic Crossan of “mutation” to the trinity itself, which meant that all the later, less-Jewish stuff, despite its bravado ontological attire, was indeed interpretative of this earlier trinitarian mutation of the religious hub (I’d simply gotten lucky on that point in my 2015 paper).
Other Bits & Pieces
Most recently, there have been a small string of book publisher rejections, which were disappointing, but have led me to focus more on the blog for now.
Since I used to lead worship in my local church for about ten years, I have a keen sense of the spiritual and theological formation that takes place during the vulnerable and sacred space of worship. As a result, I have at various points attempted to appraise the good, bad and ugly doing the rounds out there (see here for examples, scroll down past the first two Hurtado posts).
- I recently read “The Day the Revolution Began”, by NT Wright, which I don't have specific plans to blog about, but I can definitely recommend.
- I have very recently made a start on Robert MacEwen's Matthean Posteriority, (yep, it gets the really cool “MPH” acronym). Since it is relevant to my model, I will probably need to do some posts on it later. Strangely, the cheapest way by far to get this was on Google Books, not Amazon.
- The Unseen Realm has left an indelible mark on my biblical worldview, written by Michael Heiser. For those who appreciate Old Testament theology in particular, I can really recommend not only this book, but also Heiser's The Naked Bible podcast.
- During my Kyrios research phase, I read the accessible When God Spoke Greek by Timothy Michael Law, and part way through Invitation to the Septuagint, by Karen H. Jobes & Moisés Silva
- Finally, as regular blog readers will know, I also recently read Dale Tuggy’s recent book, What is the Trinity? Following that, he and I began a blog exchange, which so far goes me, him, me. More than once he has assured me that he will get round to his next response, but he has a lot going on right now so I’m not hassling him for it.
- Mike McHargue’s Finding God in the Waves, which is a great book (with whose journey I also sense some resonance),
- Rob Bell’s Here To Be Here, which helped me at one stage take some pro-active steps on my journey,
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving aF**K, by Mark Manson. Despite its offensive title, I'm glad I followed my Christian friend’s recommendation. However, for Christian readers, you might have to put your cultural filters up to really get the core message of this book which covers some important life topics. If that’s not for you, then there is a short Christian book that The Subtle Art kept on reminding me of by author Timothy Keller, The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness, which I think I read in 2012. By the way, a not well-known fact: in a former life, I enjoyed composing some alternative music, and you can enjoy this song which is on this same theme of breaking out of self-centredness, recorded back in 2002. It’s called Looking Straight Through the Eternal Mirror. Even lesser-known fact: it contains a recording of a whale! If you like my alternative music style, then you might also appreciate a mini-album entitled Integrity, available freely here since 2010.
- Naked Marriage: Uncovering Who You Are And Who You Can Be Together, by Corey Allen. Really good.
- The Pressure's Off: Breaking Free from Rules and Performance, by Larry Crabb. Basic but very necessary for me to hear afresh.
How's the blog doing?
- I don’t know how far I will continue into my coverage of Hurtado’s Lord Jesus Christ. I feel like there is so much common ground with THH that I have plenty to say on the content of this great book, even if our paths are already set to diverge on certain points, like around his “Q” chapter, which maybe when I bring in MacEwen. It is just possible that if I do go “the full hog”, that I have another stab with the publishers, editing the posts as a response book to Lord Jesus Christ.
- I haven't painted for decades. But I have inspiration to do a reconfiguration of the reunion described in Jesus parable of the Prodigal Son. I want to capture the moment of reconciliation, but not just with the prodigal and his Father, but also with the Elder Son, who is neither jealous nor resentful, but shares in his Father's joy.
- I would like to test-run the Psalms meditation proposal with some friends, blog readers, maybe my local church if the leadership accepted.
- “Love, Hate & Late Matthew”
- I have begun writing a brief commentary on the Old Testament book of Joel, which has relevance for my overall work on the Trinity. Rather than piecemeal it into this blog, when it is ready, I plan to provide a link on the blog to my space on https://www.academia.edu/ where folks can access it and download it if they would like.
- I may pick up the book project at some point and look at self-publishing if I receive fresh inspiration.
- I would like to approach Pastor Sean Finnegan to see if he’d be interested in interviewing me on his podcast, Restitutio to tell this story, which I think may be interesting to his show listeners. That may also lead at some point to an invitation from Dale onto the trinities podcast, only time will tell. My problem with Sean is that I simply don’t know how to contact him (can anyone help?)
- I would love to do a simplified animation of how I see Christianity got its Trinity and put it up on Youtube. That’d be a big job for me and a steep learning curve technologically.
- I want to re-visit each New Testament book to see how well the THH fares there. I know that systematic theology is always an approximation. We’re always working with “best-fit” models, and so I shouldn’t have been surprised when I recently re-read 1 John, that neither Triune God nor Triune Hub hypotheses seem to thrive there. A more thorough NT survey is definitely required (in my rejected book proposal, this section was going to be entitled “Taking the Triune Hub For A Test-drive”;).
- I also need to survey all references to John the Baptist, who for me is a key player in the rise of early trinitarianism.
- I have come to realise that I am more excited about tracing first century developments than second-fourth century stuff, but I guess at some point I’ll also have to dredge through the ancient sources (to which I have good access) and try to trace the formalisation of the TH within the institutionalising church toward the Triune God. What I do look forward to in that project, is to see that it is frequently when the triune hub principle is upset that the church feels the need to respond, correct and clarify as one “unsuccessful mutation” is stamped out after another (even Galatians, in my view, could be an early example of that).
- If there’s a worship song someone would like my opinion about, I’m always happy to have a listen to it and a good think about the lyrics.
- If there's a dodgy Christian apologetic argument out there, then I'll happily continue to try blowing it respectfully to pieces!